Train2Game news: Playtesting ‘necessary’ part of game design process say Thatgamecompany


Train2Game blog readers may have read our post earlier this week in which Star Wars: The Old Republic project lead James Ohlen said playtesting is a very important part of game development.

Well it seems that he isn’t the only one. Thatgamecompany, the indie studio behind Flower and the upcoming Journey, recently spoke to Gamasutra, with founder Kellee Santiago revealing playtesting is an integral part of their game development

“We are exploring different emotions in game design. If you were to have this emotion of, “I want it to feel joyous but slightly sad,” and you go to an artist, the artist can probably bang out some art in a couple days, some concept art that has those feelings.”

“You go to a composer and you say that, and they can probably do it in half a day, write out a tune that has joyous but slightly sad.” said Santiago.

And while sound and art & animation style can be tested relatively quickly, the Thatgamecompany founder believes that playtesting is the only way to get a good feel of game design concepts.

“You go to a game designer and say, “I want to feel game mechanics that are joyous and slightly sad,” there’s no real defined process for it, other than making something and having other people play it, and finding out if that’s right or not” she said.

“And it’s just a longer process, and it is because it is still so new, I think. Prototyping and playtesting is just so necessary to the craft right now.” Santiago concluded.

Of course, it isn’t only game developers and QA Testers who playtest games, with open beta becoming increasingly popular. As reported by the Train2Game blog, the Battlefield 3 beta begins today, while Valve’s Chet Faliszek also told us that testing is a hugely important part of game development.

So Train2Game, how important do you believe playtesting is to game design?  Will there every be a defined process of testing game design concepts?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]